We met with Grandma and Grandpa en-route (coming back home from *their* trip up north) and had lunch. Instead of taking Iowa highway 27 (DH says it's part of a proposed St. Paul to St. Louis Interstate), we take US 218 to The Spam Museum in Austin MN. DH, the navigator, wasn't paying attention as I drove, and we missed our turn ... plan B ... alternate route ... meant that we arrived at the SPAM Museum with only 30-40 minutes until closing. The parking lot 'guard' let us know about the closing time -- we said we are regulars, so we'd do the speed-tour! It's a fun place. We'd recommend it for a break while driving -- it's just off Interstate 90 and about 20 minutes from Interstate 35. We've been away too long -- we had no perfect scores in the SPAM Exam! @@
We were familiar with downtown St. Paul from previous trips to see the "Peanuts" statues for several years. DH navigated me easily to the parking ramp for the hotel. Crowne Plaza, St. Paul Riverfront -- $95.00 Entertainment card rate -- river view -- + $12.50 parking fee. I asked at check-in if we had a nice room with a river view (paid extra for the view!!) and was told we had a really nice corner room on the 9th floor. It was *really nice* -- awesome view downriver.
We set off at 10ish, picking up Krispy Kreme on the way and eating in the car.